Monday, 18 January 2010

Finished Projects: 2

I've not posted for a while (again), as I was busy with snow and a sick cat and other stuff: like looking to see exactly how many unfinished projects I've got ...

To do this, I had to pull them out of various boxes etc, and then tidy up again - which has been great as in the process I completely reorganised my workroom, did a load of filing and I now have only a couple of boxes of stuff to sort out (keep, give or throw) and I can pretty much reach everything I want to fairly easily.

Turns out I've got about 21 unfinished projects (but I think there's a couple more lurking), some of which are nearly finished, some are halfway through and some are just not-started piles of materials with an idea pinned to them, and some are just intentions...

I bought 4 furnishing fabric offcuts years and years ago in a bargain bin outside an upholsterers in Buxton for a pound each, thinking I'd use them for cushion covers one day. They've got some sort of plasticised or rubberised backing to them.

I've also been intending to make some chunky doorstops (as I've got those selfclosing fire doors in my flat) and a couple of years ago bought some sand (and dried it out) as a filler.

And about a year ago I bought some quilting/filling because I thought I might want to make something that needed stuffing.

But never did any of these things until last week, when I made these two doorstops.

The first one (top) is a bit saggy and the corners are dodgy. I decided to use a 7" square, and save time by having a single strip 7"x28" and then two 7" squares - don't all shout at once, but as I found out, and you probably know already, I should have deducted my 5/8" seam allowances x3 from the 28" length, as it didn't quite fit together. My solution was to put a pleat into each corner. Then it was hideous to fill with sand and once I'd filled it, I couldn't get it totally full AND manage to sew up the opening I'd left at the bottom. It's huge, it's saggy and it's really really heavy, so it works but could be better....

So, I went looking on the internet and from looking at a couple of tutorials on cube making (specifically soft baby blocks), I realised the single strip problem and how to do neat corners, and also an idea of half filling the doorstop with quilting/filling then using an inner bag to hold the sand. Whilst fretting about the cat and holding him up (the Valium's had some funny side effects, he kept falling over - tricky when he insists on being outside as much as possible), I realised if I did an inner bag with a long tube, I'd be able to pack it really full, and still reach the needle on my sewing machine to secure it, AND then sew up the opening of the outer shell by hand without cascades of sand all over me & the cat.

What I didn't quite manage was to put the inner sand liner against the bottom of the outer shell, and happily filled everything up, then sat back to admire it before I sewed up the outer, only to realise I'd got the sand liner against the side rather than the bottom. So, out poured the sand, the quilting/filler shuffled unwillingly and lumpily to one side, the liner readjusted against the bottom and the sand poured back in. Except it wasn't that quick... And I had to fiddle with the stuffing and add more to get it standing up properly. Still, the next one will be really easy now I know what I'm doing, oh, wasn't planning to do anymore. Oh well!

Anyway I'm really pleased with the second doorstop as it's heavy from the sandbag liner taking up the bottom half of it, but not too heavy, and truly cubelike due to the stuffing taking up the top half.

I may or may not unpick the first doorstop, make a sandbag liner and use stuffing and sandbag to make it stand up. Or even unpick the whole thing and do it properly. Or maybe I'll just leave it as it's in the kitchen. Although now I've finished it, the kitchen could do with a halfmoon shaped one, as it would fit better with my funky recyling bin...

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